Southern Railway to set up 105 MWp solar plants on unused and vacant land

In a bid to become energy efficient and save costs, Southern Railway is tapping wind and solar energy by installing 107 MWp solar power plants initially.

The zone has ambitious plans to increase solar power generation in the coming years. It proposes to provide rooftop solar plants of 2.69 MWp under developer mode by Solar power developers at Perambur and Golden Rock workshops. 

Solar plants on vacant railway land will be installed with a capacity of around 67 MWp, while 40 MWp will be set up along the track under PPA mode.

For this purpose, Southern Railway has identified 300 acres of vacant land and 160 acres of land alongside the track. Tender has been floated by Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) for around 67 MWp land based solar plants and bidders are doing survey in Southern Railway. Tender for 40 MWp on land alongside the track is expected to be floated by REMCL shortly.

With focus on harnessing wind energy, windmill plants have been erected at Kayathar (near Gangai Kondan/Kadambur Railway stations) in Tuticorin district under Madurai division of Southern Railway. 

Southern Railway said that in 2019-20 alone it has achieved savings of Rs 16.64 crore from renewable energy sources.

With the vision of becoming ‘Green mode of transport’, the zone is expediting its electrification projects and thus reducing carbon emission. Two hundred and seventy route kilometers of Electrified lines are targeted for completion in this financial year (2020-21).  

The total capacity of solar power plants installed by Southern Railway is 4.74 MWp. A 3.985 MWp solar plant was installed under PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) mode and 0.755 Mw was installed departmentally.  

Solar power panels have been installed at various locations and railway stations such as Dr MGR Central Central, MMC complex, Katpadi, Tambaram EMU car-shed, Mambalam, Guindy and Chengalpattu suburban stations, Divisional Railway Managers’ Offices at Tiruchchirappalli and Madurai, Chief Workshop Manager’s Office at Trichy Golden Rock Workshop, at Level Crossing Gates in Nagercoil-Thiruvananthapuram section, Signal & Telecom Workshop at Podanur, Salem Jn, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Sivakasi, to mention a few. 

The Railway is committed to fast tracking its renewable energy projects with a vision to cut down power costs and support the Nation’s cause for ‘Atma-Nirbhar’, said the Zone.

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